In the early days of this blog, my Dad was a regular presence. He showed up in photos and posts as we shared the various projects we were working on.
Over the years, his presence here has slowly dwindled as Parkinson’s Disease took more and more of his body and his mind.
A few weeks ago, Parkinson’s Disease took his life.
Way too soon.
We are mourning that he was taken from us. But we are also mourning everything that was taken from him. More time at the farm or the house he built with my Mom, helping my brother and sisters with their houses. Time with Ellie and his other grandchildren. Time with his garden, his lathe, his boat–all of the things and places and people that he loves.
We grieve what has been taken. But we celebrate everything that he has given us.
A few years ago, I wrote about how I became a DIYer. I said, “When it comes to the renovation and home improvement side of my DIY personality, my biggest influence is my Dad.”
I see my Dad in so much of the farm.
When we first moved in, Dad was here every weekend, helping us put the basement back together. A contractor, he ran his own business and worked construction all week, and then he gave us his weekends, doing more.
He supervised trades, leaving us notes to let us know how things went. He advised us, he supported us and he taught us.
He is the most selfless person I know and does everything for his family.
The major reason we felt ready to take on the farm and actually looked for a fixer-upper was that we knew Dad was there for us. He’d been with us through our first house and I’d worked many summers with him in his business.
He helped us to achieve this dream of having a farm and making it what we want. I feel him here, even as I miss working with him. Being at the farm gives me an amazing feeling of peace. I would not be here without him.
All my life, my Dad included me, taught me, gave me confidence and spent time with me.
My Dad took every chance to tell me how much he loves me, how proud he is of me, how happy he is to see who I have become. Especially as he neared the end of his life, he made sure we had no doubt how he feels about us.
I love the life that Matt and I have built together. I hope that we can give Ellie the love, guidance, work ethic, responsibility, kindness, strength and confidence that my Dad and Mom give me.
Dad, I am so grateful for the life you have given me. Thank you. I love you so much.
We’ve been encouraging people to honour our Dad with a few suggestions that are in keeping with how he lived his life:
Get together with a friend or family member whom you haven’t seen in awhile
Donate blood at your next local blood donor clinic
Donate to Parkinson Canada or the Alzheimer Society of Canada
Help a child have a fun experience outdoors (take them yourself or donate to a children’s charity camp)